Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Michael Schiavo Gets Married (In a Catholic Church!)

Somebody Calls It Like They See It
They are the parents of two illegitimate children.

They've lived together in an adulterous relationship for over 10 years.

Their friends say adultery was okay because he was looking for companionship but refusing to divorce his wife.

No it’s not the advertisement for a television show.

After he fought the Vatican, Congress, the President and the Governor, he was successful in obtaining a court order to kill his wife, fighting her parents in the courts, all the way to Washington.

[…] Less than 10 months after her barbaric death by starvation and dehydration over 13 grueling days with the whole world watching although he claimed he was protecting his wife's privacy, Michael Schiavo wed his concubine, Jodi Centonze Saturday.

She wore white but she's not pure and chaste. They were wed in a Catholic church but Michael Schiavo defied virtually every church rule and policy concerning the religious beliefs and practice of his wife - even cremating her remains and denying her Communion.

A day after they obtained a marriage license from the clerk of the circuit court of Pinellas County, Michael Schiavo and Jodi Centonze were wed in the
Espiritu Santo Catholic Church in Safety Harbor in a private ceremony apparently known only to family, friends and the St. Petersburg Times.

No homily was reportedly offered. The reception was held at the East Lake Country Club.

The church is located about 15 miles northwest of Tampa.

The Rev. Robert J. Schneider is pastor of the church but it is unknown who officiated at the ceremony.

From their web site, Espiritu Santo looks like a pretty normal church. I can’t imagine how the clergy in charge allowed their sanctuary to be used like this. It is bad enough to see a church building used for less-than-licit purposes, but under the circumstances, this seems outright blasphemous. What does this tell the world about the Catholic Church's appeal to embrace a culture of life? I can’t help wondering if the lack of a homily was a tacit admission of shame. I'd stake my life (no sick pun intended) that Abouna Don at Our Lady's would never consent to an event like this at his altar.

[…] The church is part of the Diocese of St. Petersburg of which the Most Rev. Robert N. Lynch is bishop. Although Lynch was Terri's bishop, he stood by silent while she was forcibly starved to death----after she struggled to declare that she wanted to live. Bishop Lynch issued a statement directly at odds with church teaching that food and water is basic sustenance and cannot be withheld by private choice.

Just days before Terri died last March 31, Lynch left the country. However, he left a statement posted on the Diocese website before Easter in which he didn't seem particularly concerned about the death decree issued and that it was against the official position of the Vatican and the Pope.

[…] Lynch's position was contrary to the official Vatican position. Cardinal Renato Martino, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace in Rome said in a March 7 statement, "Without the tube, which is providing life-giving hydration and nutrition, Terri Schiavo will die. But it is not that simple. She will die a horrible and cruel death. She will not simply die; she will have death inflicted upon her over a number of terrible days, even weeks. How can anyone who claims to speak of the promotion and protection of human rights - of human life - remain silent?"

[…] Bishop Lynch's position was also directly contrary to "the teaching of the Pope" who had written that food and water is not extraordinary support for life and that it cannot morally be withheld from a dying or incapacitated person.

I keep waiting to hear that Bishop Lynch has been received into the Episcopal Church.

Jodi Centonze reportedly had her second child, born in October, 2003 at the time when the feeding tube had been removed from Terri the second time by order of Judge Greer in Michael Schiavo's efforts to kill her, baptized in Espiritu Santo church. According to knowledge sources, the priest who baptized the baby was aware that Jodi was not married to Michael Schiavo and that she had been involved in an adulterous affair with him for over 10 years.

Okay - it’s not the kid’s fault who his parents are. I don’t have a problem with the baptism itself, but isn’t it supposed to be accompanied by promises on the part of the parents and godparents to raise the child in a Christian environment and to provide spiritual training?

And at the same time, Michael was telling the world that he still loved Terri.

In October, 2003, while Jodi was having their second illegitimate child baptized in the Catholic Church, Michael barred Monsignor Thaddeus Malinowksi from administering the Catholic rite of Viaticum, the last communion for a Catholic before death.

On Easter Sunday, March 25, 2005, the ninth day that Terri had been without nutrition and hydration and the holiest day of the Catholic year, Schiavo refused to allow his wife the sacrament of communion. She received last rites on March 18, the day the feeding tube was pulled. […]
(Read the whole story here.)

Let me state the standard caveats: (a) I don’t know the internal condition of any human soul except my own, and I lie to myself about even that all the time; (b) repentance, forgiveness, and transformation are available to anyone – had Judas come to the cross, he would have found life and life eternal.

Having said that, however, this whole circumstance smacks of in-your-face defiance – the sort of attitude that seeks to bend the Church to the will of the individual. In many regards it’s similar to what’s happened in the Episcopal Church, where they’ve kept the trappings but ditched the substance. Some things are just flat-out unacceptable. All I can say is that I really hope that the God-ordained sacrament of marriage, however compromised or twisted, provides the grace to these people to bring them into the love of Christ. Pray for these people and their kids.